I awoke to the sound of birds chirping and the air filled with the freshness of a Spring morning.
“You are going to be on leave from today and you can stay in bed till late from tomorrow,” echoed the words with some motivation behind them.
So unfolded the morning that would be etched into my memory forever.
On the morning of September 19th, 2019, I drove Ebrahim to his shop, waited a few minutes until he unlocked his gates and opened his business and wished him a wonderful day.
At 8am, I received a call “Ebrahim has been shot “.My heart sank and my mind entered into a sudden numbness. 3pm, 20 September 2019, he had passed on and I was left to contend with individuals showering me with their opinions of where I should be and how my life would play out or should play out. Being abruptly forced out of my comfort zone, how does a newly widowed woman make her own decisions? If she does, was she going to be opening herself up to scrutiny, criticism and all the negativity the world around her could offer? That realisation shattered my very existence, and sank deep into my gut and far deeper into the crevices of my mind. Frozen by my circumstances and not having the support of the very people I had spent decades being submissive to, broke me. I was lost. I was hurt. I had let myself down. This person that was breaking inside of me, was no longer familiar.
A leave of absence from my fast-paced career, was the order of the day and I made my way to a place quite aptly known as the place where the sun rises- the province of Mpumalanga; place that welcomed me to new adventures, encouraging me to take decisions on my very own.
Being a woman and making life changing decisions affects every cell in your body. You sometimes wish you could go back, because it is just easier.
My journey began the moment I faced my fears. Hands quivering, jaws locked, bare feet ,no sense of what the future holds, was just what I needed.
I began to live for myself and for other women; empowering women through my life coaching programme to begin their own journey. A woman has the ability to trust and fight against all odds for the ones she loves, yet it sometimes takes her a lifetime to find that beautiful person inside of her.
Role of Women in Society
The stereotypical cultural terms such as oppressed, inferior, subservient, to name a few, in describing the rights of women in society, fail to recognize the superlative role they play in everyday life and society in general. From the mundane to the spiritual, their role in society personifies dignity, esteem and honour. Women fulfil the goal required of every individual, which is to uphold and preserve their pure state by beautifying their inner beings with good and virtuous moral traits.
A woman plays a fundamental role in shaping a healthy family and community structure by means of projecting her distinctive and unique qualities to those around her. This includes but is not limited to providing a spiritually uplifting and nurturing environment for her children, through her title of ‘mother’.
It is essential to note the diverse roles and responsibilities that women play in society, as well as the influential impact that they have on so many facets of life. The first person to accept the message of Islam was a woman, Mother of the Believers, Bibi Khatija (Allah be pleased with her) . The first matyr in Islam was a woman, Hazrat Sumaya (Allah be pleased with her). In education, Hazrat Bibi Ayesha (Allah be pleased with her), regarded as a great scholar of Islam, played a pivotal role in the dissemination of knowledge.
As a mother, a woman’s status is highly elevated in society. Her lap offers virtuous attributes such as love, mercy, kindness, care, education, justice, attentiveness, joy and truth; all qualities necessary to experience the Divine Presence. Emphasizing the importance of mothers, the Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam has said :
‘ Paradise is under the feet of the mother.’
Women are active and valuable participants in the cohesive functioning of society. From trade to education to motherhood, they hold an honoured and dignified stature in society. Allah bless our mothers and sisters and women in general for the dignified role they play in the Divine Scheme of things.